Preseason girls’ basketball kicked off with a busy week on the road for the Creswell Lady Bulldogs. The Lady Dawgs opened with a 32-26 win over host Waldport on Nov. 28 and a 32-29 victory over host Horizon Christian on Nov. 29.
At the Beau Classic Tournament hosted by Western Christian on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, Creswell defeated Chemawa 34-27 on Nov. 30 but were flattened by Western Christian, 13-42, on Dec. 1.
At Waldport, ”We definitely had some first-game jitters,” said Creswell Head Coach Tyler Hollingsworth.
Creswell led 8-4 after the first quarter, 20-10 at halftime and 29-16 after three; but Waldport outscored Creswell 10-3 in the fourth quarter to close within striking distance.
”Our turnovers were high, and that allowed them to come back – plus they hit a couple of bank shots in the fourth quarter,” Hollingsworth said.
Bailey Howell led Creswell with 11 points. Aubrie Hatch had eight and Freya DeMasters added 7.
”We played pretty good defense, but our offense has to improve,” Hollingsworth said. ”In the third quarter and at the end of the second quarter we played the way I want us to play; we were more aggressive and got up and down more.”
At Horizon Christian, DeMasters paced Creswell with 11 points during a game in which a teammate suffered a broken nose.
”Freya did a really good job in that game; she was the only one who was really being aggressive on offense, and it paid off,” Hollingsworth said.
But again, turnovers plagued the Lady Dawgs. ”We had a lot of turnovers that were not even forced – we were just throwing the ball away,” Hollingsworth said. ”The plays were there, but they’re not seeing it as it’s coming; they see it a second too late to make the pass.”
Against Chemawa in the Beau Classic, Creswell led 10-7 after one, 25-15 at halftime and 28-23 after three.
Although the Lady Dawgs pulled out the win, fatigue took its toll in their third road game in three days. ”Our legs were tired,” Hollingsworth said. ”Our defense in transition was really slow, but on offense we were able to push in transition for lay-ins, especially in the second half.”
Howell paced Creswell with 13 points; Hatch added eight.
Against Western Christian, fatigue slammed the Lady Dawgs as hard as did the Pioneers. Creswell trailed 2-8 after one, 6-10 at halftime, 8-23 after three and were outscored five to 19 in the fourth.
”After traveling more than 650 miles in four days for four games, not getting back until midnight or 1 a.m. after some of them, we were running on fumes,” Hollingsworth said. ”We did our best, but it showed. There was just not enough left for us to be productive.”
Poor shooting hurt the Lady Dawgs, who were 5-for-34 on field goals. ”We missed layups, wide-open shots, jumpers… We just couldn’t get our legs under us for shots to fall, and that was because of mental and physical fatigue,” Hollingsworth said.
Howell scored seven of Creswell’s 13 points, while Breanna Dapron hauled down 10 rebounds. ”Breanna hasn’t played in two years and has been working on her offense, but she was dominant on the boards in this game, and that was a positive light to see,” Hollingworth said.
Another positive was that substitute and swing players saw plenty of action, as Hollingsworth waved the white flag after the third quarter. ”We subbed in people who haven’t played a bunch and they gave us some high-energy minutes,” he said.
The Lady Dawgs travel to Toledo and host Scio and Jefferson as preseason play continues this week.
”So far, we haven’t come out strong in the first quarter; we have strong second quarters; our third quarters (are) off and on; and in our fourth quarters we haven’t scored a ton, but our defense has been good and we’ve been able to hang on,” Hollingsworth said. ”We’ve also been practicing our offense against man-to-man, but every team so far has only zoned us, and we haven’t really walked through that. We’re hoping to correct some of these things before our next game.”